Wednesday, December 17, 2014

the problem with layers

Rebecca Taylor silk top, thrifted
Calvin Klein straight leg jeans, Ross
Coldwater Creek scarf, gift from Mom

     I wore the cardigan most of the day, but after reviewing the photos, I've decided that I prefer wearing this outfit without the cardigan. Two long and loose layers - albeit very lightweight - don't look as easy and effortless as I thought they'd look. I thought matching my cardigan to my jeans would do the trick, but it doesn't quite. The effect is not terrible, but I prefer the proportions of the first photo. Somehow, the rolled-up sleeves and bare forearms seem to balance out the scarf and loose top. Ah, to be just a few inches taller and better suited to carrying off those long, effortless flowy outfits that I gravitate towards ...

 Bobeau cardigan, Nordstrom Rack

   I haven't given up on these types of outfits, however ... this caught my eye lately. I'd like to recreate it, but maybe try it with my more fitted maxi skirt to preserve some shape.
   Are you like me, and sometimes drawn to looks that are problematic for your body type? Or is figure flattery your top priority?

Monday, December 15, 2014

counting down

BeBop chambray dress, Ross
Cable and Gauge cardigan, from Mom
leggings, Macys
necklace, Haitian Beads
belt, Old Navy

        I've been reveling in the cooler weather and happily wearing all of the things in my closet that can't be worn to work most of the year! This dress is shorter than I prefer for work, but with leggings layered underneath it was work-appropriate as well as cozy. I initially had on my gray knit blazer and a scarf, but something looked wrong - so I swapped the scarf for a colorful necklace and the blazer for a cardigan.

     School ends on Friday, so we're entering the jam-packed homestretch. The kids' minds are already on break - at Morning Meeting, the sharing often involves discussion of setting up Christmas trees and anticipating spending time with family. I'll admit that that my mind is on break, too - I'm excited about having time to read, rest, craft and sew, and spend time with family.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

double floral

kimono, DIY
Merona tee, Target
jade pendant, New Zealand souvenir
Calvin Klein straight leg jeans, Ross

      It was my birthday yesterday, so I decided to wear something pretty to work. I suspected that I was going to be given a lei or two, so I figured, what goes better with flowers than more flowers?

    It was also one of my students' birthdays, so I held off on bringing a treat to share with the class. I'll probably bring in something on Friday for us to enjoy.
    These phone photos don't do this outfit justice ... it's one of my favorites so far. I'll have to wear it again soon and take better photos. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

vintage floral

Ann Taylor top, Savers
Bobeau cardigan, Nordstrom Rack
trouser jeans, Macy's
       Up to this point, I've been staunch in my preference for Goodwill over Savers, primarily because of the difference in pricing strategies. However, Savers is slowly gaining because I've found so many nice things there! I always get a compliment or two when I wear this top to work. I'm pretty sure that my husband would hate the print, but I like it because it reminds me of something you might find at Anthropologie ... or covering the couch cushions at Grandma's house. ; )

Friday, December 5, 2014

a dose of magic

White Plum cardigan,
Merona tee, Target
Calvin Klein straight-leg jeans, Ross
belt, from dress
earrings, gift

     Online shopping can be tricky. Take this kimono top, for instance. As I mentioned in my November budget roundup, I saw it on's Instagram account and liked it so much that I became a member so I could buy it. The site called it a "cardigan," which made me think that it would be made of some stretchy, cozy material, when it's actually made of rayon. Also, it looks a lot bigger on me than it did on the model, which is why I'm wearing it belted.  However, next time I think I'll just wear it unbelted ... the belt made it a little fussy to wear, and I hate having to adjust my clothes during the workday!

    I did consider returning it, but the thought of having to pack it up, brave the post office lines, and pay return shipping swayed me. Also, I thought it might be fun to style. I'll have take some outfit inspiration  from Katie of Alaskan Weredork  -- she styles kimonos in such a beautiful way (and in frigid Alaskan temperatures, no less).
     Looking at these photos while prepping the blog post, it popped into my head that this outfit reminds me of something an elf would wear ... not a Christmas elf, but an elf more along the lines of Tolkien's elves: lithe, fast, and magical. I don't usually dress to emulate mythical beings, but I rather like the association.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

November budget: when neutrals attack

White Plum vintage floral cardigan, via, $23.98
  Limited-time-deal websites like groopdealz and now can be dangerous to my wallet. I saw this on's Instagram, and liked it so much that I decided to pick it up.

 Old Navy boxy jersey dress, $2.48*

Old Navy sleeveless fleece dress, $2.48*
  I have a wad of $10 rewards, and managed to pick up these two dresses and two stocking stuffers for a grand total of $9.94. In addition, Old Navy was running a 25% off everything no code needed special at the time.

Basghetti Boutique 28-inch real silver chain, $7.49,
    I have several pendants that I don't wear much due to not having a chain to string them on. This was affordable and came in seven different lengths.

Total spent: $36.43
Budget: $50
Remaining: $13.37
    It almost feels like cheating to have used all those Rewards, but I'm excited to add some different silhouettes to my closet!

Monday, December 1, 2014

positively cozy

 New York and Company chambray shirt, Goodwill
Cable and Gauge cardigan and Coldwater Creek silk scarf, from Mom
Jolt skinny cargos, Macy's

       Goodbye to November, and hello to December! November was challenging in certain ways -- I felt really worn down by parent-teacher conferences for some reason. However, on the last day of conferences I was elated to hear that one of my students - new to the school and the state - loves being in my classroom and has even expressed a desire to have perfect attendance. I'm looking forward to December for several reasons - my birthday is coming up, I'll be attending a concert for the first time in years, and winter break is around the corner.  

      I kicked off my long Thanksgiving weekend with an awful allergy attack that canceled my plans to do some baking. While I'm still not feeling 100%, I did get to sew two Christmas gifts on Friday  while listening to Vince Guaraldi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack. On Saturday, I ended up reading David Levithan's "Everyday" in almost one sitting. Oh, and I also ate all kinds of delicious things, ranging from the most scrumptious Dutch apple pie I've ever tasted to pumpkin mochi to the usual Thanksgiving fixings. I stayed away from the hordes at the malls, but I did shop Macy's Cyber Monday specials online yesterday. I was pleased to find that I had some unused gift cards that covered my purchase!